Schau and Kruse lead Fort Madison with second-place finishes
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
NEW LONDON – The Fort Madison Bloodhounds got out of the gym and onto the mat in their first tournament of the year and came away with third place at the Jeremy Fulk Classic in New London Saturday.
The Hounds finished with 141 points behind tournament champion Lisbon (249.5) and Solon (155.5).
Junior Mason Schau and senior Owen Kruse highlighted the day with second place finishes to lead Fort Madison.
Schau took the silver at 160 pounds after falling to Class 2A’s top rated Hayden Taylor out of Solon. Taylor scored a quick take down off the whistle and Schau was able to escape. Taylor almost ended the match in the first round, but time ran out. After Taylor escaped from a down start in round 2, he was able to roll Schau over and get the pin about half way through.
At 132 lbs, 2020 state qualifier Owen Kruse breezed through a short four-man bracket and ran up against Class 1A’s 10th ranked Quincy Happel who pinned the Hound at 1:32 of the first.
The Hounds were a later entry into the Classic after the regular season opening tournament in Independence was cancelled. Smith said he was happy with the Hounds showing at a high caliber event.
“Considering we had a week under our belt – that was pretty tough line up. There were several state champions in the field so it was pretty solid,” he said.
“It was a good test right off the bat.”
Fort Madison took three third-place medals with senior Brock Califf getting his first medal in his first high school wrestling match ever. Freshman Henry Wiseman (106) and junior Matt Steffensmeier (120) also placed third.
In his first match, Califf recorded at 1:19 pin over BGM Brooklyn’s Cooper Winter. In the semi’s Califf suffered a 3rd round pin by Solon’s Kaden Lamm. Lamm recorded a take down early but Califf scored a reversal to tie things up. Lamm would escape, but Califf would pull him to the mat again for 4-3 lead going into the 2nd. Lamm would get a take down with :26 left in the 2nd period to take a 5-4 lead before pinning Califf in the 3rd.
Califf again came back from being down in the third-place match to win the Cael Phillips from Louisa-Muscatine had the match under control until Califf had had enough.
Phillips had a 6-1 lead going into the second period and had advanced that to 10-1 after a near fall with 30 seconds gone in the second. But Califf, a 1st-team All-State football selection, slipped out of Phillips’ hold at 1:21, got to his feet and threw Phillips to the mat near the outer circle and came down chest to chest to get the pin.
“Honestly, I think he just got mad. That’s what he said when came off. He’s got some horsepower and he was really wrestling up a class. He came in this morning at around 134,” Smith said. “That was quite a bit coming out of him there and it was fun to watch.”
Henry Wiseman was wrestling in his first ever varsity action and scored a quick :49 pin over Solon freshman Tyson Wheeler. Wiseman then lost to Notre Dame/West Burlington’s Carter West in a 13-0 major decision. West went on to win the title knocking off New London’s Mavy Hope in the finals.
Wiseman went on to take 3rd with a quick fall over Lisbon freshman Teague Krob in just 26 seconds.
Gavin Wiseman (145), Levi Lowney (195) Will Gager (126) and Austin Ensminger all battled to 4th-place finishes on the day.
Wiseman had a loaded 11-man bracket featuring New London’s Class 1A No. 2 ranked Dom Lopez, who lost in the title match 4-2 to Lisbon junior Robert Avila Jr., currently ranked No. 1 at 138 in 1A.
After a quick pin in his first match of the day, Wiseman pinned Class 2A 6th ranked Caleb Ewart of Solon 1:08 into the second period after going up 4-0. Wiseman then ran up against Avila Jr. in the semis and lost a major decision 14-0, before falling in the 3rd place by a tech fall to ND/WB’s Isaiah Fenton.
“Obviously there’s room to improve, but all in all that was good start,” Smith said.
In addition to Califf seeing his first varsity action, Henry Wiseman, Ike Thacher and Teague Smith all competed as freshman. Smith went 1-2 on the day at 152 and Thacher took 5th place at 170 with a second round pin over Mt. Pleasant Jardin Mufaume.
“Its a whole different level from middle school. They held their own for sure. They’ll continue to grow and get better.”
Smith he didn’t go into the match with any expectations because the Hounds had such limited mat time going in.
“It was a good test, we could have found an easier tournament and had more success, but I knew there would be a lot of high caliber competition here,” he said.
“I didn’t go into it with any preconceived notions and we were in second place for quite a while. We kinda wanted to hold onto that and build on it but Solon has some firepower and overtook us. But we did fend off Burlington Notre Dame and New London both state ranked teams.”
The Bloodhounds travel to Mediapolis on Tuesday for a triangular with the Bulldogs and Wapello.